Monday, March 30, 2009


With much prayer, faith and hope I just finished my 7 mile bike ride for the day. It took me about 50 minutes to complete. About half way through, I thought I was going to drop dead on the multi-use path. I put it off and put it off all morning because of the tornado like winds that were brewing around out there. It's hard enough going uphill without the winds beating you up. I dropped kids off at school and was even dressed for the bike ride thinking I was going to go as soon as I got everyone out of my hair. Instead I came home and made Cody's birthday cake and cleaned my kitchen. Then I went to have lunch with Cody and went ahead and stayed to eat with Josh but to my dismay my 7 year old was embarrassed for me to be there. I mean 7, what do you have to be embarrassed about? I'm a cool mom, dang it! The other kids in the class were thrilled that I was there and some of them asked me if they could sit next to me, so there Josh! They thought I was cool. Cody, on the other hand was thrilled. Poor thing, I have never gone to eat lunch with him. I've enjoyed my free time way too much since he's been in school.

I can't believe my baby is 6 years old today. Time flies! He was actually born here in AZ. Actually, my last 3 kids were born here and Charlie was conceived here. So all of my kids have some western in them. Weird to think of it that way since I was born and bred southern. Charles isn't really southern. He was born in Virginia and I know some will argue that Va is southern since they fought with the Confederacy but how many years ago was that? It's too close to D.C. for me to be considered the south. Sorry for those that disagree, but it's my blog!

Anyway, I'm off to the dollar store to find a frisbee for Cody. That boy knows what he wants.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cody's birthday is tomorrow and he has been very specific about how he wants the day to go. He wants donuts to share with his class, vanilla cake with chocolate icing and skateboards on top and he desires chicken ranch pizza for dinner. Oh, and he wants 6 candles on top of the cake! As we were discussing plans for my birthday Cody was for sure I would enjoy Chuck E. Cheese for the big day. My kids are all about having fun!

Yesterday was a big day. We went to Home Depot and purchased stuff for our square foot garden. I also found some dwarf fruit trees that I can't wait to get planted. One is a kumquat tree and the other is an orange tree. The good thing about both of them is that you can plant them in pots and they produce just as much as a regular sized tree! They were half the price too. We also got things ready for a chicken coop. We had some gracious friends offer us a coop and now we need to fence off an area in our back yard. I've turned into an old person here in Arizona. I'll post pictures as soon as we get everything up and going. We're pretty excited. I'm just hoping the chicken experience goes well and we don't kill them off.

Well....the main reason for this post was for Charles to post some pictures he's been wanting to make available to friends and family that are interested. Things we've captured on film since being in the great state of AZ that he wanted to share. Here ya go....

THE Hike

This was a sign I saw right where we were hiking......

Spider laden cave.....

Charles took Charlie and Ryan on a mountain biking trip and they ended up in a ghost town.....

On the way to the trail...

This is the gargantuan lizard that jumped out at me when I was unloading boxes on our carport. It was much bigger than the picture portrays. I promise!

Charlie's idea of babysitting!

Charles is a goober. He saw this weed eater in Lowes and thought the picture of the old woman holding it up to show how light it was was the funniest thing. It's what I like to call Woods' humor.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easter....Be done!

As I sit here and type, desiring to be thin, I'm trying to muster up the oomph to go and do that 8 mile bike loop. I just returned home from helping out the 2nd graders. Today I didn't have to listen to them read. Instead I had to trace shapes for them to cut out. I like a tasking that has a nice end result. I like to see the result. Take mowing the lawn for instance, you see instant results when you mow the grass. Charles used to feel so bad when I would mow the lawn but I tell him I would rather do that than to put up with fighting kids. When one mows the lawn you don't have to deal with anyone and you instantly see improvement. It was nice to only cut shapes today and not listen to the monotone reading of a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds. Plus I got done 35 minutes ahead of schedule. On my birthday, which is April 1, I get to go with the kindergartners to the zoo! What a day that will be. I get to ride a bus with 3 kindergarten classes 60 miles to and fro. That's gonna be a great way to celebrate turning 32!

Ok, I love my boys a lot. I'm glad there are things they are interested in and I like to watch them excel. But scouts is a doosy. I have 4 boys, it's never going to end. I will get a small break in cub scouts when Ryan turns 11 in just a week or 2. Josh won't start cubs until August. I mean it's just that they are in scouts for so long. They start at 8 and don't finish until they get become an Eagle scout and they can take forever. Some kids are18 years old before they do what needs to be done. We had a pack meeting last night and I thought I was going to die trying to get through that thing. First of all, men try really hard and they do so many good things.....BUT.....I'm sorry.....women are just better at organizing things. The games the poor guy chose took forever. It was blazing hot in the room the meeting was held in and boys that age are just downright corny. To the point I want to slap them for their silliness. I have to say, my kids act like complete heathens at home and drive me nuts constantly, but they have been taught how to act in public and they do a fine job at this. I was thankful that Ryan was behaving himself and saw just how well he does outside of our home.

You know, I never thought I would feel like this, but.....I would love to get a job. I have been a mom for a while now and all of my kids are in school full time. I volunteer 3 days a week at the school and exercise most days. I cook, clean, walk the dog, and do whatever errands need to be done. Right now, I'm figuring out birthday gifts to get for the 2 kids I have getting ready to celebrate birthdays. I do various things throughout the week, things that would probably be harder and more of a pain in the butt if I did work outside the home. There is a job that has been advertised in the paper for the last few weeks and I know I would probably do well at it but there is something inside of me that tells me not to. As mundane as motherhood can be at times, I would feel so guilty to miss out on the smallest things in my kids' lives. Charlie comes home daily and talks to me about his day at school. Cody comes home and likes to read his cut out books he gets from kindergarten. Josh gets excited to tell me about all the hands-on awesome things he gets to do in class and Ryan tells me about kids that bug him. They eat their snacks and drive me nuts with their messes. Charlie has incredible math homework that I thank the good Lord each day Charles is home to help him with it. If he was gone, I would just have to hire a tutor. If I was the one in charge of that crap he would for sure flunk 6th grade math. I am seriously glad I get to be home for all of it. Even as a person that loves to see instant results, I'll wait for these results for years to come. Hopefully, they turn out well. If they don't, least I can say I tried. So no paying job for now. Damn it!

At least my kids are handsome. I don't know if I could stay home with ugly kids!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can't think......

My kid free days can get somewhat boring, believe it or not. I'm not a very good morning person. I usually like to get going some time after the noon mark, unless there is something pressing I need to get done. This particular morning I did not want to crawl out of bed to do my motherly responsibilities. Charles and I biked around a portion of the city yesterday and it ended up being about 7-8 miles. He did almost 20 miles on his bike yesterday alone. Every muscle in my body ached this morning after the 7-8 I did. It wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't had 20 mile an hour winds punching us in the face throughout the ride. It was all I could do to get up the hill. I'm not one of those people that will tell you how invigorating it was. Yes, I felt good knowing that I was able to slowly pedal my way through the ride and, yes I was glad I did it once it was over, but it was downright torture while I was suffering through it. We plan to do it, the bike ride that is, every night until I can ride the whole thing in 3rd gear. I'll keep y'all posted.

It has been quite some time since I have baked anything using white flour. But... I have 2 kid birthdays coming up and both have requested homemade cakes! So yesterday I ran to get some ingredients for Ryan's cake and one of these was white flour. His is a more complex cake and I wanted to make sure it came out just right. So today, as I was in my baking mood that hits every so often, I decided to put that flour to some use. I was for sure I had been missing out on the goodness that white flour provides in homemade goodies. my surprise I was very disappointed at the taste. I made some PB&J muffins and they were good enough but not what I was hoping for as far as the white flour taste is concerned. I like the flavor of whole wheat much better. It has a stronger flavor than it's processed counterpart, plus it's much healthier and doesn't wind up as paste in your colon. So for now on the whole wheat will end up in my baked goods. Speaking of whole wheat in baked goods..... we were invited to a BBQ on Saturday by some fellow members of our ward. I was asked to bring the dessert so I made a delicious, made from scratch, chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. It was scrumptious and made with whole wheat, freshly ground flour. So as we are sitting there enjoying this dessert at these folks' house, the wife proceeds to talk about some of the things her son shouldn't eat since he has been diagnosed with some mild form of autism. As she is telling me these things she also throws in there that wheat is really hard on her body and that it screws her insides up when she eats it. OH CRAP! is what I'm sitting there thinking but did not have the nerve to say a word about my delicious cake being made with freshly ground whole wheat! I was just praying she wasn't up for the rest of the night crapping her brains out. OOOPS! I guess not everybody benefits from it. Oh well :|

Has anyone out there seen Smallville? Well I've become addicted. Charles started watching it in Iraq and downloaded every last show from every single season. We love it. We've watched through almost the end of the 2nd season and it just keeps getting better. My favorite thing to do is curl up with Charles and a pint of Ben & Jerry's and watch Smallville or 48 Hours Mystery.

So since I have been given spare time here in Arizona, teachers from the school have asked me to volunteer. That really wasn't what I had in mind to do with my free time. But what the heck.....I mean I am still a mother even when my kids are at school. The thing I don't understand though, is that you can't substitute in AZ unless you have a 4 year degree or a teacher certification. can VOLUNTEER with no credentials whatsoever doing the very same thing you would do as a sub. Confuses me a little. So now 3 days a week I will be in the classroom with my kids. I can't seem to get away from them. Tuesdays and Fridays I listen to 2nd graders read for 2 solid hours. If you can even imagine that. Stinky little kid breath for 2 hours straight. I don't start the kindergarten class until next week. I'll let anyone interested know about that next week:)

Monday, March 23, 2009


I had a revelation today. I'm a mom and that is my profession. It might not look good on a resume but that's what I do. At least Charles is thankful for my credentials. One day my kids better be. It is THE single most thankless job I can think of. But...even when your kids are older, they STILL need you at home. I refuse to let my kids be latchkey children even though it is so tempting to go and get a job. Sometimes I forget I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing and have to be reminded I'm right where I need to be. Oh well! At least I have a hot tub now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Civilization.....there's a lot to be said for it!

I think I married the greatest man on earth! However, he bugs the crap right out of me sometimes. He is convinced to make all of us lovers of the outdoors. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors. I love the beach, I love to ride my bike, I love to swim, I like to take walks, I like the outdoors. BUT....I like to go places that aren't so primitive. If I'm going to go hiking then I want to hike on a well established trail. I'm not about hiking over boulders and worrying about twisting my ankle and breaking it. I don't want to have to worry about me or my family members being mauled by a bear. I like things that are civilized and well established. Well the point to all of this was to tell you about our fabulous family outing today. Charles has a goal for the family to hike down to Havasu Falls. I think it's somewhere in the Grand Canyon. Now I have seen pictures and it is beautiful. So in order to achieve this he wanted to start practicing hiking. We need to work up to it since it is a 10 mile hike. Charles planned a Saturday of hiking and I must have way misunderstood what he was dragging me into. First of all the road to where he took us was anything but fun. I had to use my core muscles for 30 minutes straight to keep from bouncing out of the car. It was MISERABLE. Plus, I'm on my period and had some mild cramping but with the jerking and jostling the cramps went past mild. Not to mention the muscles it took to stay in my seat. So after the first stop I was being a real trooper. The kids were having fun and it was all good, old fashioned, family fun. We even walked in a cave about 150 feet and promptly left when I saw about a thousand spiders piled up in a corner. Seriously, it was about 1000+ of those grand-daddy long-leg looking spiders. Creepy. I said this is where I stop. So, off to the next stop. We got back in the car and jostled our way to another "fun" stop. By this time I need a bathroom to take care of lady business and the best thing I have is a stinky hole. I said hell no! I rarely do public restrooms and I ain't about to go climbing into some hut with a hole to do feminine hygiene business. Completely frustrating.

I tried to tell Charles that when you are easing someone into something they don't particularly care for you can't go planning a day to do the not fun thing for 3-4 hours. That's not easing one into something. That's making them never want to do it with you again. Like I said, I like to hike. I just think there needs to be some great reward at the end of a hike. Like....say.... a picnic or a fabulous waterfall of the top of a gorgeous mountain. I don't want to go wandering all over east hell just to say I did. Then needless to say what goes up must come down. We climbed back in the vehicle to shake our way down the unpaved, primitive road. Yeah I was a little aggravated by the time we arrived home. Of course Charles thinks I made it un-fun by being a little miserable. Of course the misery didn't start until I realized just how long he was making this hiking trip. In the end, I didn't finish the last part of the trip and Cody and I made it back to the car. The rest of the bunch finished the hike and saw nothing great and came back down. I did get some great pictures and we finally made it home and I was able to bathe and be back in some civilization. I love boys! They'll never know what it's like to be a lady.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Memory lane......

So since the internet feels new again I have been a little addicted to it today. As I was checking my email I received a notice from facebook telling me I had a friend request from someone I went to high school with in Gadsden. It seemed very strange. First of all, it's been years since I have been back to that place and second I didn't think anyone would remember me from there. I left before I graduated high school. I think I've only been back a handful of times and haven't kept in touch with one person from that place. Then Charles has been asking me all day about things that have happened in our life in the last 10 years. His top secret clearance is up for renewal and he has to go back 10 years for information. Adresses, people we've known for that long, places of employment and on and on. They look into EVERYTHING. It's ok though, we're the most boring people on earth. Of course some people we know aren't so boring and that's a little scary to think about. Then I have a 32nd birthday coming up and it makes me think about all that has happened in my life. It's so weird to think that I am already 32....well I will be on April 1. I have been with my husband for almost half of my life. I just don't feel that old. Well I can say one's been an eventful 32 years. I have especially enjoyed the last 14 years of it. It's been quite the adventure. I've thought about lots of memories today and I have a lot of good ones. I was trying to think of the top 10 best memories and I think I can do it. Let's see.....

1. Of course my wedding day and the birth of all my kids. But let's list the not so obvious ones.
2. I will NEVER forget Josh being a baby and his trademark screaming. He would throw his head back and open his mouth wide and scream like mad.
3. All the trips to the ER with Ryan....stitches....twice, a broken arm, a scratched cornia, a skim board to the I missing one? Oh yes, I am missing one. He got stridor when he was 2 and had to spend the night at Children's hospital.
4.Charles bought me diamond earrings for Valentine's Day the year we celebrated our 8th anniversary.
5. I got a bag of cherries for my 12th anniversary. We also went to the Grand Ole Opry but the cherries was a super sweet thought from Charles. I seriously LOVED it.
6.My 23rd birthday. A very bad day. Charles got the family tickets to a Blue Angels air show. It was hot, miserable and 6 total hours in traffic. It was not fun but I still enjoy giving him a hard time about it. He's more than redeemed himself since then.
7. Me and my little brother Michael used to stay up so late during the summer and watch all the shows on Nickelodeon...The Patty Duke Show, Too Close for Comfort, and Father Knows Best. Good times :)
8.The day I found out a good friend of mine was a true con artist! Yep, true story.
9.The first time I ever laid eyes on Charles I thought he had the best looking legs ever. I later realized he has a really cute butt too!
10.The day Charles called me and said "Hey, I got my orders for Arizona so let's go get married." I love him even more today and he still has those sexy gams! and buns!

Oh and one more good memory I will be able to add to my bank is the trip I will be taking with my sister in June. We got our Vegas tickets and I couldn't be more ecstatic!

I do have a pretty darn good life. Now if I could just find a good hairdresser here in Sierra Vista life would be perfect!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remember me?

Dark brown hair, chubby, cute girl? Ring a bell? Yeah, I'm back! We FINALLY got an internet connection today and I feel like a new woman. Of course Charles wasn't here when the guy came and I had no idea what to tell the guy with all the questions and I think he tried to sell me a modem that we don't need. Lucky for me my husband is a computer genius and will figure it all out when he gets home. Also lucky for me, he's cute. Not too much has been happening around in these parts. We're finally settled and got all that dang painting done. I didn't think that would ever end but all the colors we picked turned out great. I'll need to post some pictures soon.

For some reason spiders tend to dig the dry Arizona climate. We've seen quite a few of the suckers in the house. They come in all sizes. There was a guy at church telling Charles about a scorpion that got in his bed and bit him. I'm not very much of a fan of things with more than 2 legs. It makes me miss Utah where the only bug you have to worry about there are those annoying box elder bugs. At least they aren't scary though. I'll take annoying over fangs any day.

There are quite a few families here that we knew when we were stationed here last. It's nice to see familiar faces of people you liked. Charles likes his job good enough and he has been biking to work. We're a one car family and it actually isn't too bad for now. Of course I have driven him into work a few times and now that I think about it he's only ridden to work twice. I help out in Josh's class twice a week and I bike to the school since it's so close. Sierra Vista is a very bike friendly town so it makes it nice for those who like to bike around. So with everything we need being fairly close we haven't had any problems only having one car. Hopefully it will continue to work out. Anyway, we're enjoying living here once again. I am extremely glad we didn't have to live on post and I'm very grateful for the ward we ended up in. It's nice being a 2 parent family again. I still don't feel like I have found my niche but hopefully in time. It took a while before Charles got into a real work schedule and by the time he did the kids' spring break rolled around. We're going through that this week. So maybe after this week I can feel like a real person with a real life and a real schedule. I'll let you know how that goes. But for now it's at least great to have an internet connection again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Here I am...

rock you like a hurricane. Seriously though....our computers have been out of commission for a while. We were supposed to have internet on Friday but the cable guy informed us that someone had dug up all the underground cable lines that connect to our house! So....we won't have internet for a month! They have to come and lay new ones and figure out where all the other utility companies have their lines and blah, blah, blah. So here we sit at the ACS office using their computers. Life isn't so bad though. We're doing good and loving our new place. The kids are settling in nicely, well, except Charlie is having a hard time making friends that don't cuss. We're not in Utah anymore and people seem a lot different out in the real world. That Utah experience ruined us for anywhere else. We loved it there and miss it like crazy. I am enjoying the non-stop sunshine though. It's been in the 70's since we got here and the kids have gotten to wear shorts to school and love it. They're the only ones that wear shorts so far though. 70's in Arizona is winter time for these people. You'll see folks with their scarves and winter boots on in the blazing sun. People it ain't that cold. But this is winter weather for them.

Anyway, Charles still hasn't started back to work but life is starting to settle down. We've been painting our house and getting things the way we like them. We have really great landlords that have terrible taste but willing to let us do as we please with the house. It is really nice and spacious and we have a huge backyard that will take the boys forever to mow. I love it though and Dixie thinks she's in heaven with so much space to roam.

Charlie has an African American teacher at his new school. And from what he tells us, she is ALL African American. Let me just say......boy are we glad that black history month is over. What really is the purpose of devoting an entire month to black folks? I get having a day or 2 or even a weekend. But an entire month.....what the heck? Look at all the good things white people have done for society and we don't have white history month. Can you imagine all the crap white folks would get if we had all the stuff for just whites that blacks have for just themselves? Anyway this teacher comes to school one day in Kwanzaa garb. Now, Charlie has an attitude a lot like mine when it comes to stuff like this, so you can imagine the look on his face when he sees his teacher walk in with this crap on. Can someone please tell me what Kwanzaa is all about? I mean this is about as made up as Scientology. I can't think of anything more ridiculous than either one of those things. Thank goodness for March!

Well this is about all I have for now. Charles and I are headed to Tucson to see if we can find a couch in our budget. It'll probably be a while before the next post. Excuse all the grammatical errors since this computer doesn't have spell check.